Your Wills, Probate & Power of Attorney questions answered…
What do I need to bring to my appointment?
Proof of Identification
You will be asked to bring along two forms of identification, such as your passport or photo driving license, and also a recent utility bill or bank statement for proof of address.
- Details of all the people you wish to name in your Will. This will include full names and addresses.
- Approximate values of your assets such bank accounts and liabilities such as mortgages. Also details of pensions and life policies.
- Copies of any previous Wills.
- Death Certificate and Will.
- Full details of all assets and liabilities of the estate.
- Full names, addresses and dates of birth of all attorneys and replacement attorneys
Are there any age limits on making a Will?
In England and Wales you must be over 18 years old.
There is no upper age limit for writing a Will.
Who are executors?
Executors are the people who will be responsible for carrying out your wishes and for dealing with your affairs after you have passed away.
It is common to appoint two Executors, in case one of them dies. A maximum of 4 Executors can apply for a Grant of Probate if required. The role can involve a considerable amount of work, so it is important that you choose Executors with a considerable amount of care.
The most common types appointed are;
- Relatives or friends
Can anyone witness my Will?
Yes, permitting that at the time of witnessing, they are an adult and can see, read, write and are mentally capable. You must choose two people whom you trust and who are not family members. It is imperative that no beneficiary or spouse of a beneficiary named in the Will is a witness or their gift fails.
How do I amend my Will?
If the changes you wish to make are minor and straightforward, for example, adding in a grandchild or a charity as a beneficiary, you can make a Codicil – which is an addition to your existing Will. Otherwise, you can make a new Will and revoke your previous Will.
If any of the people detailed in your Will move house, you do not have to change your Will, but you can choose to leave a note of the new address with your Will.
You also do not have to change your Will if your children are no longer minors (aged under 18). This part of your Will would be ignored in the event of your death.
What do I do when a loved one has died?
At Osborne Morris & Morgan we can assist you through the entire process of administering the estate, regardless of whether or not your loved one left a valid Will. You may or may not need a Grant of Probate, and we can advise you on this and help you with as much or as little as you would like. Please call us to make an appointment.
How can I protect my children?
You can appoint guardians for children under 18 and stipulate the age at which they should inherit in your Will. Trusts in Wills can help to minimise tax liabilities or protect assets.
I have a disability or an impairment, can you help me with my Will?
Absolutely. We will guide you through the process and help you to prepare a Will tailored to your circumstances. Our Leighton Buzzard office is particularly designed for our disabled clients.
I have a child with special needs. How do I make provision for their care?
Our Will advisors are also experienced in the areas of Court of Protection and Trusts, so we can provide specialist advice and help with your Will.
Where shall I keep my Will?
Once a Will has been made it should be kept in a safe place and other documents should not be attached to it or this can cause complications later. To prevent the risk of your Will being damaged at home in an event such as a fire or flood, or being lost or damaged, you can store your Will with us. We will give you a Will card which you can give to your executors so they know where your Will is kept. We can also register your Will on The National Will Register which is another way your Executors can locate your Will after your death.
What happens if my beneficiaries die before me?
In the sad event that this happens, we recommend that you review your Will. Please give us a call should this happen and we will help you through this difficult time.
A family member signed an Enduring Power of Attorney before October 2007 and the law has since changed – what do I do?
Since October 2007 no more Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) can be made but any that pre-date the change in the law are still perfectly valid. Once the donor has begun to lose mental capacity then the EPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Please contact us and we can help you to complete the necessary paperwork.
I would like to set up a Power of Attorney to help me with my finances. What do I need to do first?
You would benefit from a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs, in which you can name various people who you want to help with your finances. The first thing to do is to book an appointment with us to discuss your needs. Please also consider who you would want to name to be your Attorneys – if you are unsure, we can help you decide.
I would like to set up a Power of Attorney to help me with my health and wellbeing. What do I need to do?
You would benefit from a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare. Please contact us to make an appointment so we can discuss your needs.